First Priority is not only the name of my blog, it is also my passion. I serve as Strategy Development Team Leader for Churchnet--A Baptist Network Serving Churches. Churchnet is a ministry of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. Our First Priority is "serving churches!" My blog provides a setting for my dialogue with pastors and church leaders regarding their successes, challenges, opportunities and needs.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Our Annual Gathering: Building Community
Our Churchnet Annual Gathering is only about a month away,
and I am looking forward to a great time fellowship and worship.We will be meeting at First Baptist Church in
Jefferson City where I have been a member for more than 17 years.Our gathering begins on Friday evening, April
24, at 5:30 p.m. with our Annual Missions Banquet.We will hear reports on our partnership
efforts in Guatemala, the Ukraine, and Cuba.
Following the banquet we will have our Share Hope
Worship.Our theme this year continues
our Share Hope emphasis as we focus on Building
a Community of Peace & Reconciliation.Dr. Brian Kaylor who serves as our Communications and Engagement
Leader will be speaking on Friday evening.Brian is an award-winning author and journalist and a sought after
speaker.I know you will want to be
present to hear his message.First
Baptist Church will be leading our worship Friday evening.
Saturday morning, April 25, we will begin with a light
breakfast and business session.Following the business session we will have our Share Hope Workshops at
8:45 and 10:00 a.m.The workshops will
focus on our Share Hope theme.The
gathering will conclude with another Share Hope Worship Service at 11:00
a.m.Rev. Cornell Sudduth, Sr., Pastor
of Second Baptist Church in Jefferson City, will be speaking, and Second
Baptist Church will also be leading our Saturday worship.Second Baptist Church was established by
slaves who were formally members of First Baptist Church in the period prior to
the Civil War.What a wonderful
opportunity for us to think together about what it means to build a community
of peace and reconciliation as we gather with these two great congregations.
The tragic events this past year in Ferguson, Missouri, and
in other communities across our nation have made it clear that we have a long
way to go if we would live out the ideals upon which our nation was founded,
and even further if we would build a community based upon the justice and
compassion found in the covenant relationships in the scripture.
The Annual Gathering will also be the time when our Board of
Directors recommends approval our Vision
2020: Engaging the Future with Hope strategic plan for 2015 through
2020.The revised mission statement is: Churchnet serves churches by fostering
collaboration and hope for engaging new generations and cultures.This mission grew directly out of our
conversations with congregations and leaders across our state.
The plan establishes four areas of strategic initiative
which will guide our ministry as we seek to serve churches:
Engage New Generations
I hope you will come to the Annual Gathering and learn more
about the Vision 2020 plan as we
consider God’s will for the future of our ministry together.
This article was originally written for our Churchnet page in Word&Way.